Rotes Rathaus in Berlin
© Getty Images, Foto: Creativ Studio Heinemann

Rotes Rathaus in Berlin

Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus)

Today, the Berlin Red Town Hall is the seat of the Governing Mayor of Berlin and the Senate. It served as the official seat of the City Council and the Lord Mayor of Greater Berlin until the end of the Second World War. After the division of the city, East Berlin claimed these titles, while the government of West Berlin moved to Schöneberg Town Hall. The government returned to the Red Town Hall for the whole of Berlin on 1 October 1991. The historic building has symbolic character as a place of regained unity after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Red Town Hall - the centre of Berlin politics

The Red Town Hall, designed by the Prussian Royal Building Council Hermann Friedrich Waesemann, was erected on the famous Alexanderplatz from 1861-69. Its nickname is due to the red brick building material and not to a socialist spirit. Already at the time of the Emperor, the town hall building was regarded as a symbol of the self-confidence of the citizens of Berlin. The impressive, uniformly composed ensemble of buildings consists of four wings above a rectangular ground plan and ties in with the medieval town hall architecture of West Prussia. You too can feel the connection to the early Gothic cathedral architecture of France when you look at the town hall tower. With these symbolic elements, the architect emphasises the importance of the building for Berlin and makes it a historical highlight of your visit.

The town hall tower dominates the city skyline

The Red Town Hall is the largest monumental building of its time in Berlin. The tower, which overlooks the wings, will impress you with its height of 74m. Built over an almost square ground plan, its canopy-like appearance and the openworked corner projections make it appear less massive than the building structure and thus form an attractive contrast to the plinth. The design of the frieze on the first floor is also extremely appealing: a stone chronicle with 36 terracotta reliefs explains Berlin's eventful history.

As a guest at the Red Town Hall

The Town Hall has impressive premises that are well worth a visit. The tour begins in the foyer and leads you through the vestibule into the attractive coat of arms room, which takes its name from the coat of arms of the city districts of Berlin which are placed in the windows of the room. The most beautiful part of the building is the 9m high columned hall with an orange ribbed vault and many interesting busts. You also have the unique opportunity to visit the office of the Governing Mayor of Berlin.

Fast and flexible with the Berlin WelcomeCard

You can easily reach the Red Town Hall by public transport, which you can use without restrictions with the Berlin WelcomeCard. Enjoy the advantages of the capital's most popular tourist ticket and explore the landmarks with this discount card, which has already been sold over 12 million times. More than 200 discount offers with up to 50% savings are waiting for you, including for the TV Tower. You have a magnificent view over the entire Town Hall from there.

Kurz & Knapp


Rathausstraße 15
10178 Berlin

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